on a very different matter: train confusion

TrainsIt seems like such a simple thing, given the internet. How long does it take (and what does a ticket cost) to travel roundtrip from London to Zurich in August, by train? Spent three hours trying to find answers and got nowhere. I tried all the main rail sites (eurail, raileurope, etc etc). Every single of one of them put me through the same slow, excruciating hoops and then said (oh so perkily): sorry! Can’t get there from here! Or, they advised that I plan each leg of the journey and add it all up and then ticket them all separately… at which point the fare comes out to something like $800, one way. I started wondering if maybe a Eurail pass would solve the whole problem and then saw, oh no, England doesn’t participate in the Eurail Pass program. Of course not. Why make things easy, when difficult is possible?

I like trains, and we thought this would be a good way for the Girl-Child to see some of central Europe… but I may give up and go back to British Airways in desperation.

back to copy-editing.

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2 Replies to “on a very different matter: train confusion”

  1. Beware the French. They do not know when and where their trains run. They will issue a ticket/voucher for the TGV from a station on the opposite side of Paris from the correct TGV station. They will place you on the cars that will be dropped from the train to Boulogne for the ferry (pre-Chunnel). The car rental company will reserve a car for you in Tours on a day when the rental office is closed for a holiday. Even a french speaking person will be completely misinformed and misdirected. The schedule will change quarterly but does anyone notice? In our case all these errors became minor but…. Drive in France, roads are good and well marked, but fly to Zurich from London.
    May we see the first chapter of ‘Fire’? And many thanks for ‘spoiler’ geneological chart.
    Also love Dorothy Dunnett but tired of the way she ‘tortured’ Niccolo and gave up on the series.

  2. I use the DER guide for my train travels within Europe. Write them for a free timetable and they’ll send a comprehensive booklet of times, city connections, and maps.

    DER Tours
    9501 W. Devon Avenue
    Rosemont, IL 60018
    phone: 708-692-4209

    The guide is highly accurate for times – or the train system is just that efficient in Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. I’m venturing from Z?rich to Parma this Spring, so I’ll find out if the Italian return trip is up to past standards.

    Unfortuntely, you will have to first get to the Continent from England.

    But don’t feel you have to rely on a major air carrier. From London you can take one of the cheaper airlines:

    http://www.ryan.air.com

    http://www.easyjet.com

    http://www.virginexpress.com

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